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University Dissertation:
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University Dissertation

The university dissertation is a comprehensive major research project and research paper a student will need to complete in order to earn his or her degree. The university dissertation will usually be centered in the student's major field of study or in the area in which he or she is pursuing the degree. While it is a large project, the university dissertation can be successfully accomplished with proper planning and attention to detail. Following are some general guidelines to help a student approach his or her university dissertation.

First, the student must choose a topic for the university dissertation. The topic should be one that has not been treated before, yet one that is relevant and important within the student's field of study. The university dissertation topic must also be narrow and focused enough that the student can design and conduct research to answer the questions implied by this topic. The well-advised student will think of specific questions that interest him or her regarding the field of study he or she is engaged in and make the most intriguing question the basis for his or her university dissertation topic. A student who is having trouble determining a university dissertation topic may want to begin the literature review discussed below. Often, by reading existing research in the field, students can generate new ideas for research topics.

When the student has chosen a topic, or while he or she is working to choose one, he or she should begin a literature review. A literature review consists of searching for, obtaining copies of, and reading as many research papers and dissertations as possible on similar or related topics. The student's goal for the university dissertation is to become as much of an authority as possible on the topic, and being aware of the existing literature is a key component of this goal.

Next, the student will design the research. The best way to proceed again is by learning from examples in the literature. The kinds of research conducted by others in the field will serve as a model for the student's own project. As long as he or she is adapting the ideas of others and applying them to his or her topic, rather than merely copying existing research, he or she will not need to be concerned about accusations of plagiarism.

Once the student has designed the university dissertation research, he or she will conduct it. When the research has been conducted, he or she will outline and write the university dissertation, presenting his or her topic, research, results and conclusions. While the university dissertation may be the most challenging assignment a student has ever had, approaching it systematically will give the student the best chance of success.